Governor Mills Signs Law To Support Net Neutrality And Protect Internet Users

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Above Photo: Free Press/Flickr

Governor Janet Mills announced today that she has signed into law LD 1364, An Act Regarding Net Neutrality and Internet Policy, introduced by Rep. Nicole Grohoski, D-Ellsworth. The legislation restricts internet service providers from blocking, slowing down, or speeding up the delivery of online content at their discretion and follows the Federal Communication Commission’s repeal of net neutrality rules put in place by the Obama Administration.

“The internet is a powerful economic and educational tool that can open doors of opportunity for Maine people and small businesses,” said Governor Mills. “That potential should not be limited by internet service providers interested in increasing their profits. I hope net neutrality will be fully restored in federal law, but in the meantime I welcome this new law as a positive step forward for Maine and as a sign that we will protect a free and open internet for Maine people. I thank Representative Grohoski and Senator Bellows for bringing this legislation forward and for securing unanimous support for it in the Legislature.”

“Internet service providers should not be the gatekeepers of the internet and its potential to connect people and provide critical information,” said Rep. Grohoski. “While this legislation will not protect consumers in the comprehensive way that the FCC is able to, it is one step that Maine can take to maintain net neutrality. Maine is leading the way and showing internet consumers that we care about their right to access this critical utility.”

Under the new law, internet service providers that are contracted by the State of Maine must abide by the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order, which was enacted in 2015 and later repealed in 2017. The law will take effect 90 days after the adjournment of the Legislature.